Over the past nearly two decades, along with my current students, post-doctoral fellows, former students, post-doctoral scholars and long term collaborators , I have worked on millisecond pulsars, old neutron stars, young neutron stars, brown dwarfs, soft gamma-ray repeaters, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts, new types of optical transients and instrumentation. I love surfing the electromagnetic spectrum, building new gizmos and developing new methodologies. My current focus is the Palomar Transient Factory, an innovative two-telescope (one for discovery and the other and the other, Spectral Energy Distribution Machine, for robotic spectroscopy) dedicated for to a systematic study of the transient sky and Robo-AO the first robotic adaptive optics system (Rayleigh scattering) on the Kitt Peak 88-inch telescope. The following are in development phase: Zwicky Transient Facility (47 square degrees FOV on the Oschin 1.2m telescope) aimed at an exploration of the transient sky (brighter than 21 mag; first light in 2017)); a search for Galactic versions of Fast Radio Bursts (at OVRO) and ULTRASAT, a Weizmann-Caltech space-based project to search and study transients in the ultra-violet.
My publications can be found via ADS A CV and bibliography can be found above. Information to contact me can be found here . I enjoy teaching (not sure if it is reciprocated by the students, though). In AY 2016 I am teaching Ay122b (Radio instrumentation; w/Hallinan; Winter), Freshmen Seminar (Automated discovery of the Universe); Winter) and Ay126 (Interstellar Medium) (Spring). In the past I have taught Ay122ab (Techniques & Measurements), Ay 123 (Stars), Ay102 (ISM), Ay 125 (High Energy Astronomy), Ay126 (ISM), Stars (Ay126), FS/Ay3 and served as section leader for Ph1A-C.
My MO (modus operandi) is to identify fields before they become interesting and leave the field once it becomes popular. I have a rather strong view that data collection must be driven by a strong desire to deeply understand the physics of the underlying phenomenon. To this end, IMNHO, observers should have deep technical skills in the area of their research AND must have an excellent grasp of basic physics. understand the theoretical framework. Naturally, I make a point to interact with theorists quite extensively.
I held the McArthur Professorship in Astronomy & Planetary Science from 2001 until 2017 at which point I was appointed as George Ellory Hale Professor of Astronomy & Planetary Science. In 2006 I assumed the Directorship of the Caltech Optical Observatories (which include the Palomar Observatory, the W. M. Keck Observatory partnership and the Thirty Meter Telescope partnership). Starting 2009 I chair the Physical Sciences Panel of the Infosys Science Foundation
In 2007, Cornell University conferred on me the title of Andrew D. White Professor-at-large. Honorary doctorate awarded in 2015 from Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL. Member, American Society of Arts & Sciences; Fellow Royal Society (London); Member, National Academy of Sciences (US); Honorary Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences; Foreign member, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Other honors can be found here.
I was born in the principality of Kurundwad (India) and grew up in Hubli (Karnataka). I was fortunate in that I attended excellent institutions, had inspiring teachers and surrounded by peer group better than me: Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School), Hubli; the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (MS, Applied Physics) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD; the guru lineage). I am debted to the tax payers of India and the state of California for supporting my education not only at no cost but providing scholarships or assistantships.
I welcome enquiries from hard working, passionate and independendent minded students and post-docs.